When assassins come after a teen with a rare psychic ability, she's rescued by an enigmatic warrior who sweeps her into a new life. Danger is never far away, however, and her gift is potent to enemies and allies alike.
The daughter of a ruthless mob boss, Teresa Casali has been forced to use her ability to read people’s memories to benefit her father’s business interests. But when her father is killed and her mother betrays her to his successor, she has to go on the run from his henchmen. Soon a mysterious savior appears to protect her. At first wary of Mandak’s help, she comes to trust him when she realizes he can create a brand-new identity for her as well as help her control her gift. After a few weeks of training and guidance, Mandak sets her up as Allie Girard, a college student living with her “aunt and uncle,” a loving couple who take her into their home and under their wing. Safe for seven years, Allie is suddenly under attack again and must go on the run with Mandak, who she discovers is attached to a shadowy organization that finds and helps psychic individuals around the globe. Mandak and his group have made a very dangerous enemy, one who has connected some dots and allied with the people who’ve been searching for Allie for years. After years of controlling her gift, Allie is suddenly the best weapon for vanquishing two powerful, brutal villains who will kill her if she doesn’t get to them first, while Mandak is her best hope for survival until they can find their shared enemies. Johansen creates an intriguing world that revolves around a psychic underground and is peppered with some really diabolical bad guys. Readers will likely feel engaged by the story, though a few plot points seem slightly contrived, and the sexual tension between Mandak and Allie begins when she’s 16, which makes sense contextually but feels slightly unwholesome.
An enticing hook and compelling storytelling overcome some small flaws.